Are you planning to visit Tagaytay? Tagaytay is one of the most famous vacation spots for Filipinos; it’s definitely a local favorite. The city is only a two-hour drive from Manila and lies around 2,500 feet above sea level.
Tagaytay is famous for being the home of Taal Lake and its cold weather that’s so different from that of Manila and our hometown, Pampanga. It is especially cold at night and is a great time to walk around or drink in bars with scenic balcony views.
Aside form Taal Lake, there are plenty of tourist attractions in this holiday town. Tagaytay has plenty of nature spots and amusement parks that people of all ages can enjoy. There are also hotels, B&B’s and inns for those who want to spend more than a day in this lovely city. With all the places to visit in Tagaytay and the many things to do in Tagaytay, you’re sure to have fun when you visit the city. We will tell you how to get to Tagaytay, best time to visit Tagaytay, where to stay in Tagaytay and festivals in Tagaytay.
Read here our favorite where to stay in Tagaytay!
How to get to Tagaytay
There are many different ways to go to Tagaytay using public transportation. You can take the bus from various terminals such as the San Agustin EDSA Rotonda terminal and the Nasugbu Terminal in Buendia. The ride usually lasts for 2-3 hours and costs around 80 PHP. If you’re coming from Cubao, you can go to the Araneta bus terminal and pay 120 PHP for a ride to Tagaytay.
During our visit to Tagaytay, we traveled from Anilao, Batangas. We took a 15-minute tricycle ride that cost 45 PHP per person and an hour-long jeepney ride for 35 PHP to Mabini. Then we had to take a bus to Palico and traveled for 2 hours. Upon reaching Palico, we took a bus and reached Tagaytay in an hour.
Best time to visit Tagaytay
Tagaytay is one of the coolest destinations in the Philippines, not just because of the places to visit in Tagaytay but also because of the weather. This town has much milder temperatures than other destinations in the Philippines, especially the nearby city of Manila. However, rain does fall heavily during the wet season, so the best time to visit Tagaytay is from November to March, the town’s dry season.
Transportation around Tagaytay
Since Tagaytay is a pretty small town, getting around the area is quite easy. You just need to go to Olivarez Plaza and look for the jeepney that travels to your destination.
If you’re planning to visit People’s Park in the Sky, the Japanese Garden or the Good Shepherd Convent, the jeepney with the signboard that says “People’s Park in the Sky” has those destinations in its route. For those making their way to the city hall, Tagaytay International Convention Center or Mahogany Market should take the jeepneys with the sign “Nasugbu.”
Tricycles are also available in Olivarez Plaza but cost much more than jeepneys since these vehicles go directly to your destination. Prices are usually fixed but you can always try to negotiate the fare.
ATMs and Currency in Tagaytay
The country uses the Philippine Peso as its currency, where $1 USD = 53 PHP, more or less. Click here to see the exact exchange rate of PHP to your currency. If you’re going around Tagaytay, you might wanna know if ATMs are available in the city in case you run out of cash on hand. There are numerous ATMs in Tagaytay in locations like Olivarez Plaza, Walmart and the Tagaytay Rotonda by Banco de Oro and Philippine National Bank.
Daily budget for Tagaytay
You can enjoy all the things to do in Tagaytay on a daytrip. A hearty meal in Tagaytay depends on which restaurant you choose. Some meals can cost as low as 50 PHP while others go for 200 PHP, more or less. Planning to have dinner for two with someone special? You can prepare around 400-1,000 PHP for a three-course meal in a restaurant.
The flat rate for a jeepney ride is 9 PHP and increases depending on distance. Through the jeepney, you can reach destinations like Sky Ranch which has a 100 PHP entrance fee, Caleruega (80 PHP), Picnic Grove (50 PHP), People’s Park in the Sky (30 PHP), and other tourist attractions.
If you are looking for budget hotels in Tagaytay you can find deals in Booking and Agoda staring from $20-50 USD, if you want to go for luxury in Tagaytay you can find accommodation starting from $100 USD.
Things to so in Tagaytay
1. Hiking Taal Volcano
One of our favorite things to do in Tagaytay was to hike Taal Volcano. It was an easy trek and we reached the view point in an hour, while going down took us around 40 minutes. If you want to go to one of the most visited places in Tagaytay and the Philippines, you can take a trip to Taal Volcano, too.
From here, you can get scenic views of Taal Lake with an entrance fee of 100 PHP per person.
2. Sky Ranch
Another interesting spot to visit in Tagaytay is Sky Ranch, a park that’s perfect for families because of all the great rides and panoramic views as it overlooks Taal Volcano. There’s an entrance fee of 100 PHP to Sky Ranch, while a ride on the Sky Eye, the park’s giant ferris wheel, costs 150 PHP. Sky Ranch is open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM.
3. Twin Lakes Shopping Village
Located in Nasugbu Highway is Twin Lakes, a shopping and dining destination in Tagaytay. Twin Lakes is a 1,300-hectare commercial strip with its own vineyard, hotel, spa, university and luxurious residences. You can enjoy lunch or dinner with unobstructed views of Taal Lake in this gorgeous site.
4. Casino Filipino
Feeling lucky? Then try a hand or two at Casino Filipino along Aguinaldo Highway in Tagaytay. Here, you can find numerous slot machines and table games for hours of fun and excitement. There is also a restaurant and live performances in this world-class joint. You can visit any time you want: Casino Filipino is open 24/7!
5. Picnic Grove
If you’re spending the day in Tagaytay with friends, you should visit Picnic Grove a hilly spot perfect for bonding and having fun with the gang. Aside from the lush surroundings, the are also many activities to try at Picnic Grove.
There’s an eco-trail to hike on, horseback riding, a cable car and even a zipline! The entrance fee costs only 50 PHP while horseback riding goes for around 150-200 PHP. There are cottages for rent at 100-500 PHP. The zipline costs 200-300 PHP. It’s a one stop hangout packed with fun and adventure for all ages to enjoy.
With just 200 PHP, you will get to experience the first and only theme farm in Tagaytay. Paradizoo is a 10-hectare farm and zoo is another excellent place to get in touch with nature while bonding with loved ones. This is not your typical zoo as the site houses domestic farm animals like miniature horses, ostriches, camels, etc. that are not always seen in farms or zoos in the Philippines.
There are also flower gardens and vegetable patches in the area. Paradizoo is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM, and children below 3 feet get in for free!
7. Puzzle Mansion
A unique destination and a Guinness World Record holder in Tagaytay is Puzzle Mansion, a home to more than 1,000 jigsaw puzzles collected by Mrs. Georgina Gil-Lacuna. The site has some of the largest puzzles in the world! Puzzle Mansion is also a bed & breakfast and has its own swimming pool and an open area where you can enjoy barako coffee and coconut cream pie.
More Things to do in Tagaytay
8. People’s Park in the Sky
This urban park in Tagaytay is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It is flocked by tourists for its wonderful views of Taal Lake, beautiful souvenirs and cool weather. Here’s some cool trivia: This park is actually the site of an unfinished mansion that was called Palace in the Sky and was built during the Marcos era to accommodate US President Ronald Reagan’s visit. The mansion’s construction was halted when Regan’s trip got cancelled.
People’s Park in the Sky has an entrance fee of 30 PHP and here you can go to the highest point of Cavite in Mount Sungay.
9. Taal Lake
Through the Taal Lake Yacht Club, you can rent boats and learn how to sale in the beautiful waters of the lake. The club has one- and two-person kayaks as well as two-, four-, and six-person catamarans.
Renting a one- to four-person boat costs around 1,500-2,000 PHP. Bigger boats cost around 1,900 PHP for the whole hour and 4,200 PHP for an entire day. Tandem kayaks cost 400 PHP per hour and 1,200 PHP for the whole day. Finally, paddle boards cost 300 PHP every hour and 900 PHP per day. These rentals come with life vests and an instructor or driver, if necessary.
Best Food to try in Tagaytay
There are various restaurants in Tagaytay that offer bulalo, a light colored beef shank stew cooked with vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and corn. The highlight of this dish is the shan’s bone marrow that has a silky smooth texture that melts like butter in your mouth.
There are various restaurants in Tagaytay that serve bulalo, the best being Leslie’s at Aguinaldo Highway.
One of the best products that Cavite and Batangas has to offer is kapeng barako, or barako coffee. It has a strong taste and has therefore been named after the colloquial word for a stud, someone who’s very macho, a man’s man, a barako.
Though this tasty treat traditionally comes from Laguna, buko pie has made its way to Tagaytay as one of the best things you can take home after a trip in the city. Buko pie is made with coconuts and custard sweetened with condensed milk.
Some of the best buko pies available in Tagaytay come from Colette’s Buko Pie and Pasalubong along Aguinaldo Highway and Orient: The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road.
If you’ve visited several sites in the Philippines, you might have heard some of your Filipino friends asking you for pasalubong. In the country, pasalubong is a huge part of traveling. It refers to the gifts you buy from your destinations to give to the people back home.
This often comes in the form of food, and in Tagaytay, there are all kinds of pasalubong you can buy. There are assorted tarts, banana bread, rice cakes, silvanas and a wide variety of Filipino delicacies along the roads and in souvenir shops in Tagaytay.
Where to stay in Tagaytay
Luxury Staying in Hotel Domicillo
This time we stayed in one of the best places in Tagaytay, Hotel Domicillo. This Hotel Boutique will provide you an insanely beautiful view of the volcano. It was a little bit foggy at that time but we managed to take beautiful shots and we really enjoyed the beauty of the place
We have been trying Thai massage and Balinese Massage, and we have to say that Filipino Massage has something to boast, too! They were so good and it was our first time getting a massage in our room, so it was really comfortable for us.
We loved the room’s design and the amazing view. The room was big enough for the three of us and we enjoyed the complimentary things in the room. Rachel liked Barako Coffee so much. It was their local coffee. Our little one was spoiled with sodas.
Ruben was super happy because there was Chilean wine in the room, one of his favorite one. A glass of wine and a cup of coffee while watching the sunset was a very sweet moment for us.
The breakfast at Domicillo Tagaytay
You have different choices for breakfast- Filipino and Western food, but that time our choice was trying Japanese food. We didn´t have many experiences before with Japanese food but we really liked what was served to us. It was a healthy, light breakfast to start our day.
Festivals in Tagaytay
Pilipinyahan Festival in Tagaytay
Fiestas in the Philippines often celebrate a place’s abundance and culture, and the Pilipinyahan Festival is no exception. During the month of May, the people of Tagaytay showcase the many different ways pinya (or pineapple) is cooked, processed and used. Exciting events like street dancing are also a huge part of the festival.
If you want to read more of our luxurious experiences in the Philippines, click here to know more about our experience in Light House Marine Resort in Subic.
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